(CNN) — Workers from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation got a scaly surprise Sunday when they discovered an alligator in a Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, according to the department.
A park maintenance staff member spotted the gator in Prospect Park Lake, said department spokesman Dan Kastanis.
The 4-foot alligator was in “poor condition,” Kastanis said.
“The animal was found very lethargic and possibly cold shocked since it is native to warm, tropical climates,” said Kastanis.
Parks Enforcement Control and Urban Park Rangers captured the creature. It has since been transferred to the Bronx Zoo for rehabilitation.
No one was harmed, but the Department of Parks emphasized the danger of releasing non-indigenous animals in City parks.
“Parks are not suitable homes for animals not indigenous to those parks — domesticated or otherwise,” said Kastanis. “In addition to the potential danger to park goers this could have caused, releasing non-indigenous animals or unwanted pets can lead to the elimination of native species and unhealthy water quality.”
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